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How do you create a consistently great customer experience in the SaaS business world? We find out from Sydney Sloan, whose storied career has included serving as CMO of Salesloft as well as senior marketing leadership positions at Adobe and Marketo.
Your next star performer might not have the traditional background you're looking for, but you can find them, and Derek Greenacre is with us this week to show the way.
How do you apply the Theory of Jobs to be Done to Sales? Bob Moesta is with us this week to talk about how he has done it, as outlined in his book, Demand-Side Sales 101.
In today's episode, hosts Devin and David are back for the second installment of this series on sales, marketing, and how both can work better together. Last week focused on marketing, this week is about sales!While sales and marketing may feel like they are from different planets, both have to work together to ensure the best experience for the customer. The main goal for the company is how to orient itself around the customer, and to help the customer make the right buying choice for them. So the question is, how do you make a customer-centric sales process that works hand-in-hand with marketing? Devin and David answer this question in three main steps that will help both sales and marketing win. First, you must make sure you understand the context of the customer. By the time the customer comes to a salesperson, they have already researched and formed opinions about the company. Even so, it is the job of the salesperson to still ask questions, find out what problem the customer is facing and what they’ve done to try to solve it so far. After that, you can better serve the customer by helping them understand what your company offers and the outcomes your offerings can produce to help the customer make progress. The next stop on the customer journey is helping them identify the trade-offs they will face and discussing the service from the customer’s perspective. The customer has too many options and each organization is competing for their time and attention. The point in sales is not to just get numbers, but to understand what the customer needs and give them your opinion on what steps they should take. The salesperson needs to build trust with the customer and help the customer make the right choice for them. You can win trust as a company by helping the customer make the right buying decision, and discussing the ramifications and benefits for the options they have. The last step is having sales and marketing work closely together to receive feedback and adjust accordingly. Just like the customer is researching your company, the sales and marketing team also need to receive intel on the customer to make sure they are the right fit for the company. In order to learn about the customer, you need to have conversations with them and ask questions. Then, you can share those assertions with the sales team, but also be willing to tighten and reframe those assertions about the customer. Both teams need to be able to receive feedback, reset, and try again. If it doesn’t work out with a customer, both teams need to find out why and work hand-in-hand together to improve. In every company, leaders need to give sales and marketing the ability to have conversations and make adjustments. The key to winning on both sides, is to continuously improve and to keep the focus on helping the customer make progress on their job to be done.  Links:Learn more about theExperience Leaderpodcast.Learn more about hostsDevin Smith andDavid Antoline.Learn more about episode sponsorActive Digital.
Productfest RVA 2022

Productfest RVA 2022

2022-06-1638:11

David and I got to hang out with over 350 product professionals at Productfest RVA 2022 in Richmond, VA. It was a blast, and we got to talk with product pros from CarMax, Capital One, and HBO Max. Tune in to hear about the event and the careers of these pros doing big things at major companies.
Welcome to the Experience Leader podcast, and to this episode brought to you by Active Digital!  Do you want to de-commoditize your products and services?  Do you want to become a destination brand, increase your revenue, and have more control over your pricing?  If so, you're in the right place! Each week, we'll talk about how to create great customer experience and how to orient your company to enable them.  In today's episode, hosts Devin and David unpack the idea that sales is from Mars and marketing is from Venus. At almost any given company, the tendency for the sales team is to feel like marketing is not doing their best, and vice versa. This can lead to pressure for teams to end up behaving in a way that isn’t in line with the best interest of the customer, and therefore the company. Individually, each of these groups struggle with short term vs. long term, which often ends up with each side feeling they are in opposition with one another. One of the biggest issues within enterprises is having marketers who don’t see how their actions impact sales. However, both sales and marketing should understand that they share the same end goal: helping the customer buy. While it’s necessary to have a method behind the madness of marketing, this isn’t just limited to the number of calls made or how the conversations went. Rather, it needs to be measured by asking ourselves if we are helping customers be more educated on the service and understand how we can be of value to them before they ever make a final decision. Having a goal number to shoot for to incentivize ourselves to grow can be good, but it’s important not to wind up too focused on the numbers. There is the question of looking at these teams and how they operate, and then there is also the question of leadership. Representatives from any field of a company must have a clear vision of who their customer is and what their expectations may be at every touchpoint. Leadership and company culture is really where this all begins. As a marketer, you hold a unique ability to expand someone’s mind by helping them consider other possibilities rather than the ones they already know. The beauty of understanding what somebody is trying to achieve is that you can actually introduce solutions for them to solve their problems at hand. Once the door is open, it is prime time for marketing. Moving forward, Devin and David predict that the line between sales and marketing will continue to blur as people tend to do more research and shopping without human contact. Similarly, we will find that sales will have to be involved in the process of educating without contact.  Links:Learn more about the Experience Leaderpodcast.Learn more about hosts Devin Smith and David Antoline.Learn more about episode sponsor Active Digital.
In today's episode, hosts Devin and David discuss customer experience tech, specifically diving into customer relationship management.Since David is our resident CRM expert, he fills the role of guest as Devin runs the interview!  Devin first wants to explore David's history with CRM, which includes experience building a CRM platform.  From his early CRM experiences, including such things as rudimentary efforts using Excel and Access, and onward, David has seen all the flavors of what's out there.  He first became heavily involved in work on CRMs when he participated in building a CRM for a college sports program.  This process, he explains, prompted him to think about the full customer life cycle; for a prospective college athlete, this life cycle actually extends from pre-college athletics through the rest of life as a student and alum.  The question was, how could David and his team build a system for this market to help different aspects of the business keep up with the customers (athletes)?  There were tricky nuances to navigate, especially if the CRM platform was to function smoothly—like an extension of human touch.At their best, CRM platforms work with humans to augment their efforts; thus, they must be designed around the layers of relevant use cases and different aspects of a business.  Since some companies' touchpoints with customers never leave the digital realm, these companies' CRM platforms are the employees' only means of customer interaction.  In these instances, it is especially crucial for the platform to represent customers well and thoroughly.  David explains how business leaders can help employees who feel burdened by the task of keeping up with customer information input, highlighting the need for proper information to meet customer needs and expectations in the moment.  As the conversation wraps up, he and Devin talk about empowering employees to deliver a great customer experience by using CRM for prioritizing, business optimization, and personalization.  CRM is not only good for customers, David goes on to share, but is also a tool by which leaders can empower their employers!  Links:Learn more about the Experience Leader podcast.Learn more about hosts Devin Smith and David Antoline.Learn more about episode sponsor Active Digital. If you have any questions on this episode, send them to Devin@ExperienceLeader.com
Welcome to the Experience Leader podcast, and to this episode brought to you by Active Digital!  Do you want to de-commoditize your products and services?  Do you want to become a destination brand, increase your revenue, and have more control over your pricing?  If so, you're in the right place!  Each week, we'll talk about how to create great customer experiences and how to orient your company to enable them.  In today's episode, hosts Devin and David have a conversation about product and service excellence. To begin, Devin stresses the importance of always asking if the main intent of your product is to help customers meet their goal. As someone who has run a product company himself, David shares his thoughts on this. While it may sound obvious, this task is a hard one to do. Small scale businesses have limited resources, so it’s crucial to make tradeoffs which will actually resonate with the customer. That being said, customer goals are rarely linear. You run into big problems when you begin thinking of customer needs as a one-size-fits-all. Customer feedback, both positive and negative, is essential to this process. In both Devin’s and David’s experience, not all feedback is created equally, so it’s important to single out feedback from customers with the job to be done that you are targeting. Similarly, you must have realistic expectations which map to gradual innovation. Innovation is about being able to deliver more in a way that helps the customer solve that problem in a way they couldn’t before. While it is a cultural force, there is a need to give people the latitude to make those decisions. Most companies don’t allow a sufficient amount of time to ask why something didn’t advance progress like it should’ve. If you ask yourself these questions, you’ll often find that you weren’t very far off from success at all. Another way to nail product and service in the software world is to keep employing agile. David shares that if the adherence to the process becomes more important than the outcome of the work done, you need to reevaluate. Most importantly, you need to care about the impact of your product. If you find that your product is not helping the customer reach their intent, you need to feel comfortable enough to stop what you’re doing and find out why. However, it’s never easy to slow the train down, especially in a large organization. Most of the time, it all comes down to how well you understand your customer. David explains that excellence comes from a place of understanding and demands latitude to solve problems. Finally, Devin offers parting advice for achieving excellence.  Links:Learn more about the Experience Leader podcast.Learn more about hosts Devin Smith and David Antoline.Learn more about episode sponsor Active Digital.
How well do you know your customers? It's a tough thing to get down to the bottom of what your customer's intent is. It's tougher still to then continuously refresh and refine your knowledge of customer intent, and create awareness of it as an organization. Today, David and I talk about how to get better at understanding your customer.We cover:Customer insight's tie to your purposeForming your organization around customer intentThe importance of using both qualitative and quantitative dataExample CX metricsThis episode is sponsored by Active Digital, where we help customer-obsessed companies become destination brands. Learn more at www.activedigital.com
You might think that you can't innovate in the chicken business, but Steve Nedvidek says otherwise. Over his 30 year career with Chick-fil-A, Inc., Steve has done everything from cook chicken to creating an entire innovation center. We talk aboutThe culture of the early years at Chick-fil-AWhat it was like to work for Truett CathyHow Chick-fil-A grew sustainablyThe inflection point that put Steve in the hotseat to start an innovation centerThe cool things Steve is doing now in retirementCheck out Steve's graphic novel series, Jekyll Island Chronicles!This episode is brought to you by Active Digital. We help customer-obsessed companies become destination brands. www.activedigital.com
It is the foundation of your company's strategic decision-making ability. It is core to your brand identity. It is the key to motivating your employees. We're talking about your company's purpose. Research has shown that companies with a strong sense of purpose that guides decision-making outperform the S&P 500 by 400%. Interested yet?In this episode we cover the impact of purpose on your company's:Business performanceStrategic decision-making abilityEmployee engagementBrand affinity This episode is brought to you by Active Digital, where customer-obsessed companies go to become destination brands. Learn more at www.activedigital.com
This we walk to Joseph Michelli about his work on a massive CX transformation at Mercedes-Benz USA and the book he wrote to chronicle the journey.We cover:How Joseph's involvement with the project came aboutWhat it takes for a CX transformation to succeedHow to get leaders across multiple organizations to believe and join the effortMuch morePick up Joseph's book, Driven to Delight on Amazon or your favorite book store!This episode is sponsored by Active Digital, where customer-obsessed companies go to become destination brands. Learn more at activedigital.com
This week, David and Devin talk about communication through the lens of Conway's Law.Conway's LawOrganizations who design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of those organizations.We cover:How to make Conway's Law work in your favor instead of against youHow communication structures affect product developmentThe importance of technology to rapid organizational communicationMuch moreThis episode is sponsored by Active Digital, where customer-obsessed companies go on their path to become destination brands. www.activedigital.com
In this episode we conclude our talk about what we learned from Patrick Lencioni's book, Getting Naked, a business fable about how to treat your customers, and the culture necessary to make that possible. This time we cover Patrick's Principles of Naked Service:Make everything about the customer.Give away the business.Ask dumb questions.Do the dirty work.Send in questions to devin@experienceleader.com.This episode is brought to you by Active Digital. www.activedigital.com
In this episode we talk about what we learned from Patrick Lencioni's book, Getting Naked, a business fable about how to treat your customers, and the culture necessary to make that possible.We cover the Three Fears from the book:Fear of losing the businessFear of feeling embarrassedFear of feeling inferiorThis episode is brought to you by Active Digital. www.activedigital.com
In today's episode, we introduce my friend, colleague, and new co-host, David Antoline while talking about the importance of authentic company values. We chat about:David's background and why I asked him to join the showWhy values matterOrganizational AlignmentThe importance of authenticityThe internal and external value of authentic values for your decision-making ability and brandToday's episode is sponsored by Active Digital. Learn more about how Active Digital helps customer-obsessed companies become destination brands at www.activedigital.com.
In this packed episode, we invite Bob Moesta on the show to show us how to do interviews that uncover Jobs to Be Done.In this episode:Bob conducts and interview of my friend Derek on a major purchase to undercover the underlying Job to Be DoneBob and I analyze the interview and the insightsWe talk the uses of the insights that can be applied directly to sales, product development, and marketing activityKey Takeaways:Never ask what people wish existed while doing research. Ask about the progress they're trying to make.Make people feel comfortable. Ask for and use names of people in their stories.Use the insights to develop your product, train your sales team, and derive marketing messagingUnderstanding progress your customers want to make make helps you orient your operations around that knowledge, and improves customer experience because you are built to please!Bob honed his interviewing skills by learning from law enforcement agents. Check out Chris Voss's Never Split the Difference to learn more about the tactics. Link below!Books mentioned:- Never Split the Difference, Chris Voss- Competing Against Luck, Clayton Christensen, Karen Dillon, and David S. Duncan- Demand-Side Sales 101, Bob Moesta and Greg EngleOUR SPONSOR:This episode is brought to you by Active Digital.
This week on Experience Leader, I do a primer on Jobs to Be Done and share about my journey trying to apply the theory to the real world. If you have heard a lot about it, especially from me, but need more clarity, this episode is for you!
This week I speak with NYT bestselling author and former editor of Harvard Business Review, Karen Dillon about Competing Against Luck—the seminal work on the Theory of Jobs To Be Done that she coauthored with Taddy Hall, David S. Duncan, and most notably, the late Clayton Christensen.
This week, I share my conclusions on the five primary factors that influence your total customer experience.For more on the Theory of Jobs to Be Done, read Competing Against Luck by Clayton Christensen, Karen Dillon, Taddy Hall, David S. Duncan
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